Invasive species

Highway Maintenance | Roadsides | Landscape management | Invasive species | Mowing Wisconsin's roadsides | Pollinators | Illegal vegetation cutting and spraying

The Department acknowledges the noxious weed law and invasive species as defined by NR40 and within the given budgetary limitations works to manage invasive species.

NR 40 identifies, classifies, and controls invasive species. Regulation includes the movement of invasive plants or their seeds, either intentionally through planting or unintentionally through construction, mowing or other operations. To comply with NR 40, the need to control the movement of invasive plants and their seeds is essential.

Department invasive species initiatives

  • Mowing policy focused on mowing before invasive species go to seed. See Mowing Wisconsin's roadsides for more explanation.
  • Prohibited species control. The Department will work with counties to control prohibited invasive species. Please contact the Bureau of Highway Maintenance if you know of a prohibited species on State right of way.
  • Permitting control efforts. The Department will issue a work on the right of way permits to allow individuals and groups on the right of way to manage invasive species. The proper herbicide applicators license and certification is required for herbicide use and all safety protocols must be followed.
  • Biological control. The Department works with others and also releases and manage bio-control agents on the WisDOT right of way for the control of specific invasive species.
  • Management of trees as necessary for projects and in roadside facilities.
  • The Department is represented on the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council (WISC) and maintains involvement and representation at various levels.



Administrative code

Trans 280, Roadside Vegetation Management, establishes uniform procedures to maintain, enhance and protect roadside vegetation and ecology (maintenance of trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs).

NR 40 Invasive Species Identification, Classification and Control. This is the Department of Natural Resources Administrative Code.

WI state statutes

84.07(3) – Maintenance of state trunk highways

66.0407 – Noxious weeds